Dan Duling

Second Wind

[staged reading, Grace Players, L.A.; ART, Portland]

[one-act, running time about 1 hour]

Sometimes, nothing brings it all home like trying to get away from it all. Escaping to the Oregon woods after the breakup of her marriage, Rebecca nurses her wounded ego and fights off her mother’s “help” while trying to build a new life. Paul, a Forest Service guy who specializes in chaperoning Smokey The Bear, just wants to watch. “Having a nervous breakdown, wish you were here.” [cast 2 w, 3 m]

PAT: Men will be attracted to your low expectations. They’ll figure they can take advantage of you in your weakened state. And if you get hurt, they know you’ll survive because you’ve been through it before. JILL: First marriages are a dime a dozen. They’re like learner’s permits. So you had a little fender-bender. That doesn’t mean you’ll never drive again.

PAUL: Aliases. I like that in a woman...

PAT: I knew I’d hear it sooner or later. “Mother, you don’t understand.” As if I’d lived my whole life in a vacuum, as if your feelings were in some foreign language I couldn’t interpret. Well, listen here, all the modern thinking in the world isn’t going to make it any easier owning up to being a divorced woman. Get it through your head. You had your chance to be an individual BEFORE you got married...Marriage is the big choice, the one that makes or breaks your life. And there’s no such thing as a second marriage, only desperate people settling for less and less...

PAUL: Well, if the truth didn’t hurt, Ernie wouldn’t sell any beer.

PAUL: You looking for the suicide hotline poster boy, well, here I am, Rebecca Sloane. And if you can enjoy my company, more power to you. You’re still stone cold alone and so am I and that’s the way it always will be forever more, amen...But if you want to be neighborly in the meantime, that’s okay, too.

PAUL: Has anybody ever told you, you have marvelous “fuck you” eyes?

PAUL: I appreciate the defeat, believe me. It’s not every night I can be humiliated by a woman with a pool cue...at least not in public.

PAUL: I just love campers. I can’t get over how thoughtful they are to leave little reminders behind so that future campers happening by will be reassured that others have come this way before...Someday I think I’ll write a book and call it “The Asshole’s Guide to the Wilderness!”

PAUL: Care to sniff the screw top?

REBECCA: Just a little for me. I’m not a great wine drinker.

PAUL: That’s good, because this isn’t great wine.

PAUL: The beauties of nature do have their ways of reminding us just how small we are. I call it Mother Nature’s “Fuck You” Factor.

Looking ahead in 2012.

All screenplays are registered with the WGA–West and are fully protected property of the author.

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A little extra...

Duling’s plays have been produced throughout the United States. Most recently, “Monstrosity” received staged readings at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles as part of the Inkubator reading series by the Katselas Theatre Company. Before that, “Monstrosity” also received a staged reading at Innovation Theatre Works in Bend, Oregon. The search for theatres interested in producing “Monstrosity” continues in earnest in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.